Deadman’s Learning Curve

…not the song by Jan & Dean

Ok, I’m back. The job hunt goes on with no results so far. It’s a pretty shitty time to be 54 and looking for work along with a huge number of your fellow citizens, but what ya gonna do? If I was half my present age and weight, I’d be rolling in dough via some of my old skill sets, but I’m not, so I keep hitting the bricks every day.

By the way, my fellow A&Eers and gamers, my next couple of issues are taken care of, so please don’t call or write Lee with offers to cover me. Thank you so much, those of you who came to my aid unasked. Y’all are pretty fuckin’ great.

Now, for a bit of content, here is my take on a list that I’ve seen on at least 3 other LJ’s and/or websites…

12 RPG’s That Everyone Should Play At Least Once

1: Good old hack & slash dungeon crawling D&D. Preferably the boxed version with the rather garish dragon.

2: AD&D, but using the original Ravenloft boxed set. Barring that, use the equally innovative and utterly cool Al Qadim setting.

3: Runequest, because it is asskickingly cool, has a wonderful setting and ducks.

4: Over The Edge, played with balls out wild abandon and maybe just a hint of your favorite mind altering substance. In my not at all humble opinion, Al Amarja is the single coolest and most possibility filled setting in the history of RPGs.

5: Champions, because playing superheroes is way fun and by the time you are finished, you’ll either love or hate the Hero system, but either way, you’ll know the meaning of “complex & detailed RPG rules”.

6: Paranoia, because it is pants pissingly funny and hilariously violent. It is probably the easiest system to GM, since many sessions never get beyond the briefing room…and if they do, R&D will stop them cold:)

7: Call of Cthulhu, for it’s just damned perfect meshing of rules and setting. Unlike most RPGs, in CoC, you don’t get more powerful as time goes on, you just get closer to going into sanity’s abyss. A well run session of CoC should make it very hard for you to fall asleep afterwards.

8: Traveller, in whichever flavor you like, as long as it’s all about cruising the spaceways trying to earn a few credits by hook or by crook.

9: Castle Falkenstein, because it has steampunk, faerie both good and bad, swashbuckling action, airships, evil Prussians, criminal masterminds, mad science, magic and the goddamn Bear Flag Empire of California under the leadership of his Imperial Majesty, Norton I. Damn, I got wood just thinking about this RPG.

10: Toon, because it’s easy to learn, has a universal subject matter (go on, tell me who you know that has never seen a cartoon), plays fast and can run on the most tissue thin of plots.

11: Mutants & Masterminds, because it let’s you play any superhero that Champions does, but with waaaaayyyy fewer (and way easier) rules and a single d20.

12: The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, because it perfectly blends storytelling, drinking and audience participation into one big old cream filled pastry of roleplaying goodness. Besides, you know you’re just dying to tell us of the time you rescued the Queen of the Moon from her imprisonment by the French aided by only a deaf terrier, an overweight Welsh bricklayer and your pet budgie, Otis.

And now, I must go to bed, so as to arrive bright and early tomorrow for my first of many sessions in Dr. Yen’s Ultraviolet Radiation Booth Of Happiness.

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4 comments on “Deadman’s Learning Curve

  1. delazan says:

    Wow. I’ve actually played 7 out of 12 of the above games. I guess I’m more of a gamer geek than I thought.
    -L.

  2. rpmiller says:

    Doc – There appears to be a good money making opportunity if you are interested. It is from ProFantasy for their Trail of Cthulhu setting.
    http://simonjrogers.livejournal.com/84863.html
    Regarding the above, I’ve played 8 of the 12. I’ve been itching to play face to face recently, but it appears that our group has been to involved with real life. :(
    Those that I haven’t played would be – Over The Edge, Castle Falkenstein, Toon and The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen.

  3. unclelumpy says:

    What, in your opinion, makes a good superhero campaign?

  4. Elevators.
    You know you are running a successful game of Paranoia when your players refuse to acknowledge the existence of elevators. <grin>
    Although I do have to admit I did like getting the players entirely through the outfitting and mission briefing phases of the game, simply because they could cause so much more havoc amongst themselves when properly (or improperly equipped).
    I think my favourite moment was when the player snapped and started shouting “Death to The Computer,” and all the other troubleshooters on the mission (17, I believe [3 teams got exactly the same mission assignment]) were absolutely shocked at not having to manufacture evidence as to the treasonous nature of the other individual. Sheer mana from heaven. Took the players about twenty seconds real time to adjust to the situation and start responding. With a barrage of laser fire, naturally.
    And I only get 11/12, never having had a chance to express my innate Munchausen Syndrome…

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